Have we all heard about poor old Redfoo? For those that don’t know, he was part of dance music group LMFAO, he’s on The X-Factor and has really big hair.
That pretty well sums up all I knew of him until this week when, in the wake of the Julien Blanc saga, he and his mates released a new song which was immediately dubbed the most sexist song of the year.
I watched the clip here to see what all the fuss was about.
I have to say, at first, I was horrified. I mean, it would appear that a bunch of girls go to a party, refuse to drink alcohol (because literally, they can’t!) and dance and do “girl on girl” and get told to shut the fuck up. As the video progresses, Play-N-Skillz ft Redfoo, Lil Jon and Enertia McFly and the other party-goers surround this group of women and kinda force their dance moves on them. As each women succumbs to what can only be described as physical peer pressure, their clothing seems to shrink and appears smaller and tighter. Weird. It’s almost like when they succumb to the pressure to drink, dance and go girl-on-girl it makes them…sexier? At one point a woman or two ends up falling or being half-dragged or pushed into a wading pool, and they spend some time gyrating around in the water with clothes falling off a bit while someone- possibly Redfoo himself?- appears to videoing them on a mobile phone and accessing a website called “Red Tube” (don’t Google that one at work- imagine a YouTube for…erm…adults) presumably to upload a video.
Then there are the lyrics. Here are some of Redfoo’s bits:
You got a big ol’ butt
I can tell by the way you’re walkin’
But you annoying me… ‘cause you’re talkin’ (STFU!)
I said jump on the pole
I didn’t need your opinion
Gurrrrl I’m sippin’ on this drink
I’m tryna see what you got
Not tryna hear what you think
And the rest of the song is basically guys yelling at women to shut the fuck up when they don’t want to do something. It appears to be an exercise in pressuring women to conform to what these men want; wild girls who drink and perform sexual acts and dress revealingly but don’t express individual opinions or thoughts. So you can probably see why I felt the way I did when I watched it.
Thankfully, Redfoo jumped on twitter and cleared the WHOLE thing up.
Another example of critics victimizing an artist by purposely misinterpreting his/her work to support a pre-existing agenda. #LiterallyICant— Redfoo (@RedFoo)
See, we have it all wrong. We all purposely misinterpreted the clip and the song to support our agenda. You know, the whole rape culture, misogyny thing we’re all harping on about for no apparent reason.
We just jumped on this song and CHOSE to see it as a group of women being pressured to drink, dance and do “girl-on-girl” as if it were a party trick. It might seem as if it’s a group of men shouting at women to shut the fuck up when they aren’t compliant. It looks like women being forcefully sexualised. But really, Redfoo and Co are the victims here.
— Redfoo (@RedFoo)
Oh! Well, that’s okay then!
Fact #2: I love & respect women and feel they are the most powerful people on this planet! #LiterallyICant— Redfoo (@RedFoo)
He has great respect for women. It’s true, I mean, look at the “artwork” with his single “New Thang” (note the camera on his forehead):
— Redfoo (@RedFoo)
See? It’s SATIRE. If you’re offended it’s because you DON’T GET IT. It’s not because it’s offensive! At the time of writing this, over 16 thousand people have signed a petition to remove Redfoo as a judge on The X Factor. That’s over 16,000 people who don’t get it.
Image Source Redfoo (above): a man of wit so subtle that more than 16,000 people don’t get the joke.
For those of us that just don’t get this particular brand of “satire”, you should check out this modified cover of “Literally I Can’t”. It was rewritten and performed by Melbourne art rock band, The Stiffys. Don’t let the band name put you off- this is LITERALLY the best thing to come out of this debacle:
— The Stiffys (@The_Stiffys)
The petition to remove Redfoo from The X Factor was launched by Collective Shout, who campaign against the objectification and sexualisation of women and girls in media, advertising and popular culture. Here is what they had to say:
He has since posted this fauxpology on Facebook:
This song is meant to unite people through laughter, dance and celebration? Yeah, no. As a woman, I can categorically state that there is nothing unifying about being told to shut the fuck up. I listened to the song. I watched the video. I wasn’t laughing. It didn’t feel like a celebration. Like the women in the video, I didn’t want to dance, either.
Obviously, it’s up to Channel 7 to decide whether or not they still want this guy on their show. I wonder if losing a job would push the point home?